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Ethnic disparities in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

América G Uribe, Graciela S Alarcón
Current Rheumatology Reports 2003, 5 (5): 364-9
12967518
Ethnic disparities in health care have been historically well documented, but their causes still remain poorly explained. In the US, ethnic minorities have a higher incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus and also experience less favorable outcomes when compared with the Caucasian majority. These discrepancies can be explained, at least in part, by genetic-related ethnic factors; however, nongenetic factors emerging from differences in socioeconomic status and related individual social (poverty, limited access to quality health care) and cultural characteristics (inadequate health belief patterns, distrust in medical institutions) are also likely to contribute to these discrepancies. A comprehensive recognition of current unfavorable, but modifiable, circumstances will provide the framework to develop strategic approaches toward eliminating existent disparities in health, including those occurring in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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